“Voice” alum Nakia eager to return to Midland blues scene – Midland Reporter-Telegram


Singer Nakia (Nakia Reynoso) loves his Whataburger. So much so, that his latest EP, “Real.Live.Blues” is packaged like the restaurant’s signature burger wrap and fries box. It was a no-brainer for this release. Initially for fans who pre-ordered his last album “Blues Grifter,” he decided to let everyone have his version of a meal deal.

“I just love the idea of going there late at night after a show,” he said in a phone interview. “Very early one, when I’d perform ‘300 Pounds of Joy’ (a track on the EP), I’d sing about Whataburger.”

That could resonate well in Midland.

He and his band, the Blues Grifters, return to the Tall City to play “The Voice” showcase on Friday at Tall City Blues Fest. Nakia will share the bill with fellow contestant Sarah Grace from season 15.

Although he was already building his music career, his semifinalist standing on the first season of the singing competition show gave him the momentum to continue his work with new music — now on a bigger playing field.

But after a fall gig in 2018 in Midland, Nakia made a new discovery of blues fans all through happenstance.

“We had reached out to the blues festival to see about playing last year but it was already full,” he said. “Then, Carolyn Wonderland had to cancel her performance that fall and (blues fest director) Lisa Grissom asked us to fill in.”

Outside the festival, Grissom hosts Wang Dang Doodle blues shows at the DoubleTree by Hilton. Nakia’s energetic performance was a slam dunk for the full house.

“We had such a good time and you could really tell the Midland folks love the blues,” he said. “They treated us so well.”

At that show, he added that Grissom told him she hoped to have them back. A call earlier this year confirmed their booking.

“It’s a no-brainer to come back to perform. Seeing that reception, the first time around, whenever she calls, we’re gonna be there,” he said.

And then after the show he and his band possibly will be at a nearby Whataburger.